Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Husband

Today is my husband's birthday.

his birthday celebration in 2007

We probably won't do much school today, just the basics. I want to have time to prepare a celebration for him! There are decorations to hang, a gift to wrap and brownies to bake (he prefers them to a cake!) And since we are trying to eat a little more healthy around here, I decided to try the dark chocolate brownies this time (hehe).

I'm not a fan of dark chocolate, but my husband likes it. So... we shall see what he thinks about his brownies!

I am so thankful for my husband. I am grateful that God picked him out just for me! Do we argue? Of course. Does he have quirky little habits that get on my last nerve? Certainly. (Don't we all?) But he is also kind-hearted and compassionate in his role of husband and father. He provides for us and tries hard to meet our needs.

So when his birthday comes around, we try to make it extra special for him! Of course, our goal is to show him our appreciation every day, but on his birthday we really want to show him just how special he is to us.

his brownies

his cake, which he might not want, but the rest of us do :)

So today we will celebrate. Tonight we will eat pizza with friends after church, and we will thank Him for another year with a wonderful husband and father. We will celebrate the life that He has given us, and we'll be careful to give the glory to our God, the source of all life and the source of our joy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bloom Where You're Planted

This is a little lesson that my heavenly Father is currently teaching me. What's that you ask? Haven't I already been through this before? 

Why yes, as a matter of fact I have. But you see, I'm a bit mulish stubborn. Well, maybe more than a bit. It seems that He has to repeat some of life's lessons for me. It's a wonder He doesn't give up on me entirely. Thank goodness I can be sure that He won't! Philippians 1:6 tells me, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Bloom where you're planted.

This is a struggle for me. Has been for a few years now. This is not where I want to be. At this physical address. I have always yearned for the country life. Oh, I know that may sound silly to some, but this is a desire that has been in my heart for as long as I can remember. To live on a farm, in a big, old farmhouse, with lots of children and animals, surrounded by trees and ponds and land, as far as the eye can see. Ok, so now I'm just being greedy.

Lots of land, with no up-close neighbors (not that I don't get along with my neighbors, for I do). It's just that I'm not much of a people person. I kinda keep to myself for the most part. I have a couple of close friends, and that's the way I like it. I could be content with not leaving my little domain for days at a time.

But that's not what He wants for me. Hence, the "bloom where you're planted" issue.

We were not created to be "hermits," to keep within our little domains, content not to see anybody other than family for days or weeks at a time. We were created to get out and share Jesus with those who don't know Him. To share His hope with a lost and dying world.

And that goes against the grain for me. It is hard for those who, like me, prefer to live a solitary life way out in the country, far from the city and the people within its gates (nothing against people in general, it's just me). But my, how He is stretching me, growing me, changing me! I won't lie to you; the stretching, growing and changing... it hurts. But I know that it is necessary if I am going to live out His purpose for my life. What is my purpose? The same as your purpose. Oh I know that He brings to fulfillment our purposes in different ways, but the purpose is still the same. To make His glory known among the nations. As David Platt states it, "to make much of God." 

And how can I make much of God if I don't want to go into the world? If I'm content to sequester myself away from people? I suppose I can't. Hence, my physical address being located just outside the city limits, rather than miles and miles out in the country. Hence, God leading us to enroll our daughter in school (a Christian school, yet school nonetheless), so that I interact with people on an almost daily basis. I don't want to chase rabbits here, but I do feel as if I need to clarify that point. I'm not saying that if you don't live within the city, then you can't reach people for Jesus. I'm just saying that I probably would not. Ok, enough of that, I am digressing!

So, yes, I struggle daily in this flesh-suit I wear. But I can be confident that He is changing me, molding me into His image, making me more Christ-like each passing day. That He is showing me which habits to put off, and which virtues to put on. That He is using ordinary people to make much of Himself, to make His glory known among the nations. And I want to be one of those people, no matter how arduous the journey.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Prayer Request

A dear friend from high school has family members who could really use your prayers right now. You can read about it here. And if the Lord brings them to mind, please lift them up to Him.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Fall Around Here


It's beginning to feel like fall around here.... The weather is nice. We are enjoying being outside more.

This is my favorite time of the year! I love to see the leaves changing color... getting ready for winter. It won't be long and we'll be going home for Thanksgiving. I love getting together with family for the holidays!

my "pumpkin" I found on clearance at a Cracker Barrel Country Store last year

The home school group visited a local cotton field last week. The kids all picked some cotton, and they have to do some research about cotton (whatever they want to know about it) and be prepared to share what they learned when we meet next week. We will take a tour of the local cotton gin next week as well.

They all thought it was great fun picking the cotton. Of course, we were only there for probably 30 to 45 minutes, at the most! Some of the adults began telling the kids of stories told to them by their grandparents about being in the fields all day picking cotton. I can't even imagine! 

We visited our county fair last week. It is very small scale, nothing compared to the national fair we visited a couple of weeks ago! But it is always fun to walk around enjoying the displays, meeting friends, watching the entertainment, seeing the livestock shows.

And of course, the food! We have local organizations (like the Lion's Club, Kiwanis Club, and many others) that set up food booths. One of my favorites is funnel cakes from the Lion's Club! I like them so much that I sent my two oldest children over to pick up a couple of them after supper last night! Lol. We live close to the fair grounds, so it was very convenient!

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how much we like to watch for birds around my house. We'd been hearing this one in the woods behind the house for a few days, but we hadn't seen him. Then Friday morning (I think it was Friday...) my son and I were sitting on the couch reading, when all of a sudden he popped up off the couch and excitedly announced that there was a red-headed woodpecker in the backyard! Of course we dropped the books, picked up the camera and headed outside to try to capture the bird in photograph. It's very pretty, as you can see, and we hope it will stay around for a bit.

This last picture is of a type of crab spider. It has made a web between the crepe myrtle tree and the house.
Very creepy looking to me. I think all spiders are creepy looking, but I do appreciate their God-given job of helping to keep the insect population under control! We have several spider webs around the yard and as much as I dislike spiders, I try not to disturb them.

So... What are you doing to enjoy your fall?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Georgia National Fair

Our third field trip this fall (wow! are we getting any book work done? yes, we actually are.) was to the Georgia National Fair in Perry Georgia. My two youngest children and I have been to this fair once about three years ago. This time, my husband was able to accompany us.

The only thing that was disappointing was the fact that the livestock shows were not scheduled to start until the next day! We don't show any livestock, but it is fun to watch some of the shows. The first time we went to this fair we were able to watch the miniature horse show. That was pretty cool, so we were disappointed that we didn't get to see that again. But other than that, we had a fabulous time at the Georgia National Fair!

at the poultry exhibit
It was fun seeing the baby chicks. We were even able to watch one hatch in the incubator!

watching a baby chick hatch

at the petting zoo

maybe he's not too happy with his cage mates

Are we in Mayberry?
This is my child that keeps us laughing!

an archaeology exhibit

at the circus

 an Australian animal exhibit

my little "upside-down" joey... I told you he's the family comedian.

heritage exhibits

enjoying honey straws while waiting for the show to begin

photo op with the cast of "Wild West Shenani-Guns"

As you can see, we had a wonderful time at the national fair! I hate that we missed the livestock shows, though. Well, some of them! As I said before, the miniature horse show is so cute. We enjoyed a magic show, a science show, an animal education show, a pig race (my son was chosen to participate in the race, but his pig didn't win), and the circus. There was so much to see and do, we didn't have time to go to the midway for the rides. But no matter. We had a fabulous day nonetheless!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jekyll Island Field Trip

We have several fall field trips scheduled for this month. This past Thursday we went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the 4H Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island. My daughter was out of school the last half of this week, and my husband took off work so we were able to go on this field trip as a family (minus our son at college).

the group

Here is our guide, about to feed Amy, an injured loggerhead sea turtle. Amy has trouble swimming down to feed, so for now she lives at the Center and serves as an ambassador for her species. They expect her to overcome her injuries and be released in the wild soon.

We were able to meet the patients at the Center and our guide shared with us about the injuries these turtles have suffered. This one was injured by a boat propeller. One of the turtles even had a stroke! He is currently unable to dive down to feed, and he is in rehabilitation where he is relearning to swim!


We even saw one of the patients having some sort of procedure performed.

It was fun learning all about sea turtles, about their journey from hatchling to adulthood. I thought it was neat that no matter how far they migrate, females will always return to the same beach where they were hatched in order to lay their eggs. Wow! Only God can get the glory for that! And males will spend their entire lives in the ocean, never going ashore.

Our next stop was at the 4H Tidelands Nature Center where we participated in a herpetology program and learned much about the reptiles and amphibians native to our area.

getting started

We learned that this terrapin lives in the salt water marshes of Jekyll Island.

petting a yellow rat snake

father and daughter, enjoying the program

These next photos are of some of the inhabitants of the Nature Center:

yellow-bellied sliders

I forgot what kind of snake this is, but I thought it was so cool to see it drinking from its water dish!

soft-shelled turtle

hermit crab

watching the starfish move about in their habitat

It was such a nice day, we decided to finish up our trip with a stop at the beach! Some of the kids swam, but most just waded in the surf. The water was definitely a little chilly! Even we adults decided to take off our shoes and roll up our pants legs and walk on the shore. A fun ending to a fun day!

I do believe a fun time was had by all!